Community Fellowship Program

A Community Fellowship in Political Science

A Community Fellowship in Political Science is ideal for students who are interested in combining rigorous academic training with meaningful, community-based work.  While completing a master’s degree in Political Science (M.A.) or a master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.), fellows work 20 hours per week at a participating agency, gaining hands-on experience in community and economic development, local politics and policy, social services, or public health. 

Students awarded a Community Fellowship are only financially responsible for nine credits of graduate school tuition, payable in three installments:  three credits are due in the fall, three in the spring, and three in the summer.  The Fellowship covers those tuition costs associated with the remaining 21 credits (thanks to support from both Lehigh University and partner agencies).

If you would like to be considered for a Community Fellowship in Political Science, please include a letter indicating your interest with your application. Information on how to apply for the M.A. or M.P.P. program is available here

Initial planning for the Community Fellows Program was made possible through funding from the Pennsylvania Campus Compact (PACC) and the Corporation for National Service.


Recorded Information Session by CF Director, Karen Beck Pooley


Community Fellows Partner Agencies


Letter of Interest

Be sure that your Letter of Interest to apply for a Community Fellowship in Political Science answers the following questions:
• Why would you like to be a Community Fellow?
• What type of fellowship (at what kind of organization, doing what kind of work) would be your top choice?
• What would you bring to a community partner?
• How do you see this connecting to your academic coursework?

If you have further questions, please contact the Director of the Community Fellows Program, Karen Beck Pooley, at, or 610-758-2637.


Profiles of Political Science Community Fellows

Claudia Hanover

Community Fellow for Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Claudia spent her fellowship as a Development Assistant at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA. The Center provides life-enriching arts and culture events, fundamental youth programming, critical health services, vibrant pride events, and essential supportive services to the LGBT community of eastern Pennsylvania. Through her work grant writing, managing donor relations, and coordinating fundraising events, Claudia was critical to the financial stability and longevity of the Center and its programs. 



Lorena Bravo

Community Fellow for the City of Allentown’s Department of Planning and Zoning

As a Community Fellow, Lorena filled the role of Project Manager with the City of Allentown’s Department of Planning and Zoning.  She was responsible for the development and implementation of resident-driven “Neighborhood Scale Projects,” as well as the resident training and empowerment necessary to make those projects successful.  To do this, Lorena worked closely with community leaders, non-profit organizations, and local institutions.



Kavei Murangi

Community Fellow for Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB)

As a Community Fellow, Kavei interviewed key stakeholders, organized and facilitated neighborhood meetings, and conducted resident surveys at community events to highlight resident-identified housing assets and challenges in South Bethlehem.  She also put together program and policy recommendations for CADCB and city officials.



Emma Rae Lewis

Community Fellow for Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB)

While Emma was at CADCB, she developed and implemented a public input process to guide the new Southside neighborhood strategic plan, as well as a strategy for engaging residents, local businesses and other community stakeholders in the plan.  She helped the organization report its work accomplished in five impact areas: Business & Economic Sustainability, Housing, Development, Outdoors & Wellness, and Transforming Community Image.



Kali Collymore

Community Fellow for the City of Bethlehem Department of Community and Economic Development

Kali worked on Bethlehem’s efforts to reduce blight and raise the standard for quality housing in the city.  This required collecting, analyzing and mapping a range of data, researching best practices from other communities engaged in similar work, and making comprehensive policy recommendations to city staff and elected officials.



Leo Rooney

Community Fellow for Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV)

Leo conducted research for PNLV on criminal justice reform and restorative justice, focusing on the ways to best support residents’ reintegration.  This required interacting with community members, elected officials, and stakeholders on a weekly basis, and participating with End Mass Incarceration, a local advocacy group.